The Sacred Heart is one of the most common motifs in religious folk art created in Mexico. The idea is that the physical heart of Jesus is a symbol of his divine love for humanity. The Mexican folk art sacred heart comes in various forms–with flames around it, with a crown, with a dagger through the center and sometimes with a crown of thorns–and all represent the same thing, Jesus’ compassion for humanity. In some Christian paintings it is depicted as a flaming heart shining with divine light, pierced by the lance-wound, encircled by the crown of thorns, topped by a cross and bleeding. The bleeding and wounds and crown of thorns allude to the manner of Jesus’ death while the fire stands for the transformative power of God’s love.
And of course, you know that almost everyone in Mexico is Catholic so these images are commonly seen throughout the country…
Here are a few interpretations of the sacred heart by some of Mexico’s folk artists. The two hearts above, hang on the wall. One is shiny nickel silver (5″ tall) and other is a patina-ed nickel silver or alpaca (7″ tall). They are $38 for the shiny one and $28 for the darker one.
The two sets of earrings below are made of silver and come from Taxco, Mexico. The lovely crowned earrings are $38 and the pendant, $30. The stunning, oxidized earrings with lovebirds and a flaming heart are $78. Click on the photo of the earring to take you to the online store.
Contact us through the form below if you are interested in purchasing the sacred hearts above or anything else!
To see what else we have for sale in the online shop, click here.
There are some amazing silver artisans in the Mazahua area of Mexico, northwest of Mexico City. They have been making earrings for a very long time. They were deeply influenced by the Spanish conquest of Mexico in the 1500’s. When Spanish women arrived in Mexico they brought many new jewelry styles but in particular a style of earring that was crescent-shaped (arracada) and often wrapped in silver or gold. These styles took root in Mexican silver jewelry making and continue to this day.
One Mazahua silversmith told the author of an article on Mazahua earrings in Artes de Mexico, the meaning of the silver earrings. He said, “The stones symbolize the bright star that comes out at around four or five in the morning. The doves represent the husband going out into the fields to work, and his wife getting up to make atole. The flowers and leaves refer to the countryside, to nature. And the lines are the rays of the Sun.”
When the artisans learn to make these intricate earrings, they practice on less expensive metals such as copper and brass. Once they master the technique, they start using silver wire and silver sheets. To this day the elder artisans teach the younger. Unfortunately, not as many young people are so interested in carrying on the tradition. Like so many types of folk art, the Mazahua earring is at risk of dying out.
All of these earrings are .925 or 92.5% silver. Click on the photograph and you will be taken to the website. If you get a message saying, “This product is no longer available” that means they have been sold. So hurry!
The Huichol Indians of Nayarit, Mexico are amazingly skilled at beading. Here’s a shot of a few eggs that I have in the shop at the moment. The eggs are carved out of wood, then covered in a thin coat of beeswax, then decorated bead-by-bead. Truly lovely. Not available in the online shop because there are so few but if you’re interested in them, send me a note on the form below. They are $16 for the small and $21 for the large.
And below, is a photo of the amazing beadwork that goes into the bracelets. They move like liquid. Incredibly gorgeous. These are the last two Huichol bracelets I have at the moment and they are available right here.
Ok, it’s not ALL Mexican jewelry. The bead bracelets are from Guatemala–a very nice young man stopped in the shop with some beautiful bead work bracelets and I bought a few to see how they would sell. They are available right here. But if you’re looking for even nicer bead bracelets from Mexico, the handwork of the Huichol Indians is (in my mind) unsurpassed. Those exquisite and super liquid-y designs are right here but not in the above photo.
The slightly more contemporary designs of a Oaxacan arracada (bottom left corner and top right corner) are from another person who dropped into the shop, a Mexican-American woman visiting Minneapolis from Los Angeles. They are .925 silver and are beautiful. Fancy but not over the top. Those are available right here.
The lavender sachet is lovely and I bought a bunch of them in Guanajuato. They are embroidered and then some old Mexican coins are attached at the corner. Lovely gifts available here.
In the middle right box are a pair of Mazahua earrings with kissing lovebirds and a single drop. They are from just outside Mexico City and are a tried and true every day earring. The kissing birds are very typical of Mazahua earrings and they represent love, peace and serenity. Available here.
All of the others I purchased on my last trip to Mexico in Taxco. Some are traditional motifs and some are a twist on the traditional. One of them is an Aztec design combined with dangles to make a more contemporary earring. They are all sterling silver and they are all for pierced ears. Click on the following to find them:
Winged Birds with Dangles, Upper Middle (contact me, I forgot to put them on the website)
As always if you have any questions, please contact me below!
Remember a few short weeks ago, I was in Taxco, and other cities hunting for new Mexican folk art, Mexican silver jewelry and beautiful handmade Mexican crafts? The shipment has arrived! And now I’m slowly unpacking, pricing and doing the paper work of keeping track of over 700 items that I purchased for Dia de Los Muertos and the holiday season. I’m starting to put a few things out in the shop and eventually hope to get many of them on the website.
There are LOTS of beautiful Mexican talavera ceramics but I haven’t reached those yet (next week, I hope!). Here you can see a few things that are in the Mexican religious category (the upside down saint with the inscription, ” Beautiful Tonito, send me a man who wants to be my husband”), a couple of ceramics (the Capula pitcher and the talavera canisters) and a couple of pieces of gorgeous .925 Mexican silver jewelry. Also, a bunch of new small Mexican glass pitchers and wineglasses!
People ask me all the time if I have a favorite destination in Mexico. I can honestly say that I truly love all of the great country of Mexico but I especially love the regions that make handmade Mexican crafts–Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacan, Guanajuato, Puebla, Oaxaca, Chiapas and the Federal District. One can find Mexican folk art almost anywhere, including the coasts and resort towns, but I prefer to hunt it down in the small towns, workshops, markets and coops in the central regions. I also prefer buying directly from the artisan whenever I can and personally selecting the most unusual and beautiful pieces of Mexican folk art.
None of these things are on the website–they are either too fragile for shipping or I just haven’t gotten around to it yet but if you are interested in something in these photos, just fill out the form at the bottom of the page and I’ll get back to you! Or if you click on the photos you’ll be taken to the Zinnia Folk Arts Online Shop so you can see what IS on the website!
Anne from Zinnia Folk Arts
Here are a few photos of our latest shipment of silver beauties from Mexico. Some of these pieces can be purchased from the website. If you’re interested in the others you can send me an email with an inquiry.
All of them are in the shop at 826 West 50th, Minneapolis, MN…612-824-4342…Gracias!